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Intelligencer: December 13–27, 2004


Where’s Martha’s Big Book Deal?
Plus: Wired editor not writing an e-book.
Why hasn’t Martha Stewart’s much-touted memoir sold yet? Partly it’s because she’s not allowed to do business from the big house (and we’re not talking about Turkey Hill), so any deal probably won’t be announced until she’s free. But two publishing sources say there’s been no rush to buy it anyway because she was asking $10 million. And there’s the question of just what publishers would get for their money. “People weren’t sure she was going to come clean,” says one source whose company was approached. Not that that’s a prerequisite. “You can’t believe any of these people are actually going to tell the truth,” the source adds. “But you hope at least you’ll get a plausible story you can sell.” Also, Martha is considered a domestic-only proposition. Says another publisher: “Hillary got $8 [million] and Bill got $11 [million], but they have enormous international appeal. Martha isn’t that famous outside of America.” . . . Neither is Wired editor Chris Anderson, but sources say he managed to sell The Long Tail to Hyperion for just over $500,000. It’s a book-length version of a meditation he wrote for his own magazine about the end of the “mainstream” in culture. “Jaws hit the floor over how much they paid,” says one source whose house was outbid. Watch for the Wired trend story: The tech-book boom is back!
—Jacob Bernstein

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